It seems like ladies are already starting to sew summer dresses for their daughters, and the snow is still falling! "Hope springs eternal in the human breast!"
Several of you have asked questions about why the front waistline ends uphill from the waist position on the Girls Simple Gathered Shift. The dresses I make do not have that problem and I wondered why. I was unsure about the answer until one of my friends showed me the dress she made for her daughter. She had her daughter put on the dress to show me how the waistline elastic goes up in the middle of the front.
Aha! My friend had distributed the gathers on the neckline EVENLY around the neckline. This caused the front waistline elastic to pull up. Why? When you look at the photo of a dress I have made, below, you will see that the waistline elastic is straight, and the neckline elastic curves down in front, as it should do for the front of a dress.
There should be less elastic at the back neck-- gathers more close together-- and more elastic at the front of the neck, with looser gathers since the front neckline is more scooped than the back. I usually put most of the front gathers at the center of the front neckline, so the gathers do not pull up the fabric too much at the shoulders. Does this make any sense? I hope so!
Another suggestion about putting in the sleeves for the smaller size dresses: Sew the shoulder seams together and do the flat felled seam. Stitch the gathering lines on the sleeves, and attach the sleeve BEFORE sewing the side seams. You will find it much easier to put the sleeves in then, instead of after stitching the side seams.
We appreciate your comments and questions. Happy sewing!